ENews 2009-16

07 October 2009 

Hello and welcome to ENews 2009-16. The headlines today:

Jenny must go, no longer needed
Mud from the cut, spread out and seeded.
SDC update, from their e-news
Appeal for the Bridge, for you to peruse.
Undergrowth boshed, locks clear to see
Reeds to go soon, so water flows free.
All round the Trust, numbers are rising
Roundhouse for sale, now that's surprising.
Revival's arrived, had a quick glide
Bench down at HC, for sitting outside.
 
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FAREWELL TO JENNY

Swindon-based member David Poulton is under orders to clear stuff out of his garage.

He has a generator looking for a new home. It is a Wolf 2kv AC /12volt DC petrol 4-stroke with frame on wheels and a cover so it can sit outside when running. Of the £100 asking price, one fifth will be donated to the Cotswold Canals Trust when it's sold.

David will deliver and provide a working demonstration if required, further details from him by email david@poult.plus.com or phone 01793 771143.

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DIG THIS

The section from Stonehouse Ocean to Upper Mills then on to Ryeford is targetted for dredging this winter!

Once an analysis of sample dredgings is complete, the plan is for them to be lorried to the offside fields between Hayward's Bridge and Ryeford Bridge, which means that this offside section will need to be prepared before the fields become knee deep in the stuff. There should be plenty of activity for the Eastington Monday & Wednesday work parties over the next few weeks, therefore, so feel free to come along and join in! (Details on the Connect Weekly Maintenance Activities Message Board)

On the same theme, volunteers have spent a great deal of time and effort restoring the Trust's Dredger No.5 and the following statement has been received from Project Manager Paul Coupe to clarify the role it will play:
"You have my commitment that the dredger will be used. The intention always was and remains for it to follow behind the main contract to help deliver a full depth and width to the canal following initial priorities of the contractor to deliver minimum navigable widths. This volunteer activity will be of considerable value to the project because there is insufficient volunteer time during the short winter periods to hit the sort of dredging and disposal targets that we have to guarantee. Hopefully this defuses any suggestion that the dredger is not for use!"

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BEHIND THE SCENES

The following points have been extracted from Stroud District Council's latest in-house electronic newsletter.

– The post of Volunteer Manager is about to be filled*, with an offer having been made to an experienced volunteer with a proven track record of commitment to the Cotswold Canals. The Volunteer Manager will co-ordinate volunteer input to the project – an important role in terms of match funding and involving the community. The post will also involve working with funding bodies to deliver projects and working with schools.

(*Editor's Note: Congratulations to Jon Pontefract for accepting this challenging role, subject of course to completion of all the formalities that have to be completed these days.)

– A decision on the planning application for construction of the new access bridge over the canal at Upper Mills Industrial Estate is likely to be made on 10th November. Our intention was to then start work immediately, but this has been set back because a land deal between Wycliffe College and Gloucestershire County Council is not in place. Work is therefore expected to start immediately after the New Year.

– The A46 bridge project at Wallbridge is on course to begin in January, with traffic diversions starting in May. Minor works will be needed before then to reroute some services; details of this are awaited. A public exhibition detailing the scheme will take place at the Subscription Rooms on 19th November (afternoon and evening).

– Cabinet last week authorised the compulsory purchase of Canal Ironworks at Brimscombe. A car park and part of a building lie directly over the canal – making their acquisition essential if the canal is to be restored. Discussions are already underway with the landowner, so it is hoped that use of compulsory purchase powers will not be necessary. The Cabinet resolution is also a requirement of the agreement with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and is an essential step towards the drawdown of HLF funds.

– A treatment programme is being drawn up to deal with Japanese Knotweed along the entire length of the canal between Stonehouse and Brimscombe. Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive species which spreads rapidly along transport routes to the detriment of native species. The plant can penetrate concrete and damage structures. Cut material has to be disposed of as controlled waste. Eradication can take 3-5 years, so an early start is essential.

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WEB OF APPEAL

As CCT members amongst the newsletter readership are aware an appeal has been launched towards the £400,000 anticipated cost of the Upper Mills Bridge project.

For further information and for the opportunity to donate online please go to http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/uppermills/index.htm 

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ALL SPRUCED UP

Sterling vegetation clearance work has recently gone on at 2 of the 3 Siddington Locks, just south of Cirencester, and they look as pretty as a picture. So …… there are some in the Connect Photo Gallery.

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ALL BUNGED UP

Not the same story at Stonehouse, however, where the level of blockage caused by reeds is now so severe that insufficient water is getting down to Eastington to keep some of the pounds in water.

Volunteers have already done some work at the Ryeford Sluices (with more planned) to curtail the leaks and restore the weir to try and get the canal feeder working properly. Hopefully the dredging programme scheduled for this winter will alleviate the problem once and for all.

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CURRENT STATISTICS

No, this is not another water flow related article.

Instead, Membership Secretary Des Pinnock tells me that the Trust currently has 5,526 members, the highest figure ever!

At the same time I can tell you that the ENews mailing list contains over 1,750 email addresses and there are more than 450 volunteers registered on the Connect website.

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ROUND THE HOUSES

As many of you know British Waterways owns the Roundhouse, converted warehouse, lock and bridge at Inglesham together with quite a substantial amount of land. BW recognise that the operational land (including the lock, canal and towpath) are critical to the success of the restoration and Trust Chief Executive Ken Burgin advises that agreement has been reached to transfer this land to the Trust, thereby safeguarding the navigational and other interests of the project …… but BW need to sell the rest.

Utopia would of course be for the Trust to own the property; realistically this is highly unlikely unless there is a huge donation out there, so hopefully the new owner will be a Trust member and waterways enthusiast. The property for sale effectively comprises two houses (the roundhouse and the converted warehouse) and quite a lot of land.

So there it is, the rare opportunity to buy one of the five iconic Thames and Severn Canal roundhouses – and perhaps the most photographed one at that. If you are interested, please make contact with Ian Daniels at BW's agents Butler Sherborn of 43-45 Castle Street, Cirencester, Glos GL7 1QD. Telephone 01285 883743, fax 01285 644672 or email Ian@butlersherborn.co.uk  – he's waiting for your call!!

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REVIVAL MEETING

ENews 2009-14 told you all about Tony Jones and his boat building exploits. There is a picture
of Jones the Boat hard at work in the Connect Photo Gallery.

Well "Revival CCT No.6" as she is known was duly collected today and briefly launched into the duckweed at Pike Lock. Yes she floated just fine and we're pretty certain it was not the duckweed holding her up.

Tony you've done a lovely job, thank you on behalf of everybody and thanks also to Des Fforde for the use of his garage for the final stages of construction.

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BROAD BEAM

Under the guidance of a boat owning Prison Officer, inmates of Leyhill Open Prison have completed a bench for us in the form of a lock balance beam.

This is now proudly sitting outside the Heritage Centre, Saul, and yes, there's a picture of it in the Photo Gallery. Many thanks to all involved with this project.

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ACTIVITIES, EVENTS AND NOTABLE DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to the Message Boards on the Connect Activities page at http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk 

*Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Western Depot, Eastington
*Tuesdays from 6:00pm: Tug, dredger & barge restoration activity at Western Depot, Eastington
*Thursdays from 5:30pm until dusk: Work Party in/around Latton Basin

OCTOBER

*10th – Stroud Farmers Market
*11th – Work Party at Ryeford (*Saul-Daneway Message Board)
*18th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
21st – Eastern Branch meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 7:30pm, everybody welcome
24th – CCT AGM at Stroud District Council Offices, Ebley Mill, 10:30am The Roadshow will be there with a range of cards, books and CCT clothing
*27th – Work Action Group meeting, Heritage Centre Saul 7:30pm
*31st – London WRG at Eisey Lock (and 1st November)

NOVEMBER

*1st (1) – London WRG at Eisey Lock
*1st  (2) – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
2nd – Western Branch Meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster from 7:30pm, everybody welcome. Restoration update by either Bruce Hall from the Cotswold Canals Partnership or by Ken Burgin, CCT Chief Executive
8th – Work Party at Ryeford (*Saul-Daneway Message Board)
10th – DECISION DUE ON UPPER MILLS BRIDGE PLANNING APPLICATION
*14th – Stroud Farmers Market
*15th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)
18th – Eastern Branch meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade from 7:30pm, everybody welcome
19th – A46 WALLBRIDGE BRIDGE EXHIBITION AT STROUD SUB ROOMS, AFTERNOON AND EVENING
*24th – Work Action Group meeting, The Crown Cerney Wick 7:30pm
*29th – Work Party Summit Level (Coates)

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The primary objective of ENews is to keep members, volunteers and subscribers up to date with what's happening within the Cotswold Canals Trust as a whole. Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

If you have any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion please let me know at postmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk but please remember there should always be a connection with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT – however tenuous.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews
The Cotswold Canals Trust – Registered Charity No: 269721.
44 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2AA.  
Company Registered in England No: 1207787.
Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1NZ